Years ago, I was having lunch with a friend. “You probably don’t save much money by building a PC. I know when I build a mountain bike, I end up spending more.” His logic makes sense. But it’s worth exploring. Is it cheaper to build a PC? Read more
What is a multi core processor? Why are they necessary? Multi core processors saved Intel’s bacon in 2005 when the Pentium 4 CPU failed to meet expectations, and they led to noticeable changes in the way computers are designed and marketed.
A multi core processor is a processor with multiple processor cores on a single chip. This gives improved performance, though performance doesn’t scale linearly.
If you want to start a religious war, go on a forum and ask about an SSD vs HDD and why you should buy one over the other. I’m not quite sure why this is so controversial. But it is. Let’s look at the advantages SSDs have over hard drives, and when hard drives make more sense. I’ll also go into when I think this will no longer be true.
SSDs have numerous advantages over hard drives. They have faster seek times, faster read and write speeds, lower power consumption, less noise. they fail predictably, and are more reliable. The main disadvantage is cost, though even that is changing.
I had a 286 motherboard from the late 1980s with battery damage. A leaky battery corroded two traces completely through, severing them and rendering the board inoperable. Here’s how I repaired the damaged PCB traces with wire.
Fixing broken traces is a bit of a lost art, because it’s easier to just swap the board. But when the board is rare and/or expensive, it makes sense to repair the broken traces instead. These types of repairs can be a bit intimidating, but they’re easier than replacing a chip. And then you’ve saved a scarce board from oblivion.
How do you reboot a modem and router? And does it really do any good? The occasional reboot can be good preventative maintenance, so here’s how to do it, why, and how frequently. And while rebooting is something tech support tends to use as a crutch, it’s also frequently very effective. That’s why it’s always been one of the first things I try when troubleshooting.
There are usually two or even three ways to reboot your router, and there may be more than one way to reboot your modem. Usually the simplest, safest way is just to power-cycle them.
Sometimes when you’re fitting a motherboard into a case, especially an aftermarket board into a name-brand case, the connectors for the panel LEDs and switches don’t match up with the board. You can usually rewire it fairly easily, but extending them means splicing the wires. But there’s an easier solution, and it’s cheap. Here’s how to rewire or extend case front panel connectors with plug-in connectors.
I ran into this on my IBM PC/AT. Its HDD connector wasn’t long enough to reach an ISA IDE card because it was designed for a full-length card. And the LED for the power light didn’t reach either. The problem is less rare with recent hardware, but not non-existent.
What is an integrated motherboard? Every motherboard is integrated to a degree. But there are positives and negatives to integration. So not everyone sees an integrated motherboard as an advantage. Here’s what it means and why it matters to you.
Today, an integrated motherboard usually means all the functionality, including video, network, and all common I/O are built right onto the motherboard, with no need for any cards in expansion slots. This allows for a smaller and cheaper system.
The difference between SDHC and SDXC can be confusing. It would be nice if we could just buy whichever one we thought we needed, but there are differences between the two and they aren’t fully compatible or interchangeable with one another. Here’s how to know which to buy, and what other important things you may need to look for.
The difference between SDHC and SDXC is capacity. SDHC tops out at 32 GB, but ExFAT, the technology that lets SDXC go beyond 32 GB, isn’t compatible with all devices or operating systems, so you need to check compatibility before you buy.
If you run across a broken wire in the midst of a project, don’t fret. Depending on what materials and how much space you have to work with, you have several options. Here’s how to fix a broken wire.
The key to fixing a broken wire is to restore the connection, which means splicing the wire back together mechanically and electrically and insulating the joint. You can use connectors if you have room, or solder the wire if space is tight.